It’s no secret that when it comes to mixed or designer breeds, you will come across some pretty quirky nicknames for your pooch. In the case of the German Shepherd Rottweiler mix, these furry hounds are otherwise known as the Shepweiler, Rottweiler Shepherd, Shottie, or even the Rottie Shepherd.
What do you get when you cross the purebred Rottweiler and German Shepherd – both of which are some of the most desirable breeds in the world? You get the adorably fun-loving, obedient, and courageous Rottweiler Shepherd. And make no mistake, this may be a mixed breed pooch, but it is the result of its parent breeds’ best elements. This makes for a truly stellar canine for so many reasons.
When it comes to your four-legged friend, it’s also handy to know more about both parent breeds. This will give you a good indication of the personality, mannerisms, and needs that your mixed breed pooch will have.
Knowing as much as you can about your hound is essential to ensure that they will be a good fit for your household. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about these good-natured and devoted Shepweiler pups. Let’s dive right in.
- 1 The History and Origin of the German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix
- 2 Shepweiler Temperament and Personality
- 3 Shepweiler Size
- 4 Socialization
- 5 Shepweilers Around Children and Pets
- 6 Training
- 7 Exercise Requirements of the Shepweiler
- 8 Grooming
- 9 Can My Shepweiler Live in My Apartment?
- 10 Dietary Requirements
- 11 Coat and Colors
- 12 Care and Wellbeing
- 13 Health Complications
- 14 How Much is a Shepweiler Puppy?
- 15 Pros of Owning a Shepweiler
- 16 Cons of Owning a Shepweiler
- 17 Final Thoughts on the Shepweiler
The History and Origin of the German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix
If you fancy a strong, stoic, and hard-working dog, then you can’t find two breeds more similar than the German Shepherd and the Rottweiler. They are also both from German heritage and together make an impeccable hybrid. The Shepweiler is loyal, intelligent, and not afraid of hard work.
It’s possible that this designer breed existed naturally for years. But breeders began mixing German Shepherd and Rottweiler dogs intentionally around the late 1900s in the Northern USA.
The demand for these pups increased steadily so German Shepherd Rottweiler mixes continued being bred. The idea behind breeding them was to eliminate the negative traits and health issues of their parent breeds.
While these hybrid dogs are a designer breed, some have sadly since ended up at rescue homes or shelters. If you feel this hound is a good fit for your lifestyle and family, then consider going the adoption route.
The German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix is unfortunately not recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC), American Kennel Club (AKC), or any other Kennel Clubs. They are, however, recognized as a Rottie Shepherd in the Designer Breed Registry.
It’s helpful taking a look at the history of the parent breeds too, in order to better understand where your mixed-breed pooch came from.
Getting to Know the Rottweiler
These excellent canines are considered to be working dogs and were referred to as butcher’s dogs back in the day. This is because their jobs entailed pulling meat carts to the market. They are medium to large dogs and are definitely known for their strength. Rottweiler’s reach heights of about 22-23 inches (56-69 cm) and weigh in around 77-132 pounds (35-60 kg).
Many Rottweiler owners choose these hounds for their hard-working demeanors and their tough-looking exteriors. Their powerful physiques came in handy when they were used for stock transportation too, back in the day. But cars and trains eventually replaced this need.
They have, however, not lost their incredible agility and impressive physique. In more recent years, these hounds made for stellar guard dogs with their sure ‘don’t mess with me’ appearance. They also make for excellent rescue dogs and police dogs which is what they have been trained as in more recent years. It’s no secret that the Rottweiler has a pretty impressive resume.
Getting to Know the German Shepherd
Certainly much leaner than the Rottweiler, the German Shepherd weighs an average of 48-97 pounds (22-44 kg) and is around 21-25 inches (55-65 cm) in length. These dogs lack nothing when it comes to devotion and service. These loving, family dogs excel at all things herding-related and have been trained as service dogs for decades.
These pups are not only beautiful, but have also got the brains. They are famous for their incredible trainability and intelligence. It’s therefore no surprise that they have had long and flourishing careers as military dogs, guide dogs and believe it or not, acting dogs.
You will find these pooches in all kinds of homes around the world because they make for such wonderful pets and companions. It’s also why they are the second most popular dog breed in the world (after the Labrador Retriever), who wouldn’t want to get in on that?
Their eagerness to please also makes them a breeze to train. Not to mention they are hard-working and devoted family members.
While combining two rather distinctive breeds can often result in a designer pooch with quite a few potential health concerns, you could also get a wonderfully unique hybrid doggo that suits many different types of people and households. This is certainly the case with the beloved Shepweiler.
Shepweiler Temperament and Personality
Any Shepweiler parents out there can attest that this breed is nothing if not energetic and fun-loving. The German Shepherd and the Rottweiler parents were both bred to be working dogs. And the Shepweiler certainly takes after its parent’s in the sense that they thrive when they can be both mentally and physically stimulated.
As with any type of mixed-breed pup, their temperament can often be a gamble and can be hard to predict. The temperament of the Shepweiler has often come under some scrutiny.
This is because both the parent breeds – the German Shepherd and the Rottweiler – were bred as guard dogs. It means that to an extent, they were known to display some aggression on demand. This trait has often led to a lot of misconceptions around these pooches.
Both of these parent breeds can be highly territorial and protective over their home and family. And as a result, become rather confrontational if they sense a threat. This somewhat overprotectiveness can be a wonderful trait but can definitely translate as volatile to some prospective owners.
However, this quality needn’t be a downside. These dogs are highly intelligent, eager to please, and highly trainable which means that their aggression can not only be managed but also be targeted. One of the main ways this trait has been challenged is by training these pooches as guard dogs or military hounds.
For any concerned prospective owners, the easy-to-train nature of these dogs means that any rambunctious behaviors they may have inherited from their parents can very easily be nipped in the bud. With some training and positive reinforcement, they become obedient and loyal hounds to have around.
The Shepweiler is a large doggo since both the German Shepherd and Rottweiler are relatively sizable hounds. This breed is a relatively new mix and therefore there are not many set breed standards to go on. Not to mention, when it comes to mixed-breed pups in general, it can be hard to predict what size the individual puppies will be.
However, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect the cross between the German Shepherd and Rottweiler parents to be on the larger side and weigh between 75 and 115 pounds.
They will usually reach heights between 22 and 28 inches at the shoulder. But this can definitely vary on the smaller or larger end.
Socialization is an essential part of being a canine parent. It’s the process that prepares your pooch for the big wide world. This is how your fur baby will become acquainted and comfortable with new things, places, and people. Without proper socialization, you could have a pooch with bad manners or volatile behavior around new people. Things like biting, jumping up on strangers, or even unpredictable snapping but to name a few.
Your German Shepherd Rottweiler mixed pup will need plenty of socialization from a young age to manage their temperament and natural inclination to protect at all costs. Luckily, when it comes to socialization training, your Shepweiler will have no problem learning quickly. These canines have inherited the best traits from their parent breeds including their whip-smart intelligence.
They are certainly on the larger side but they sometimes seem to think they are lap dogs – they love to snuggle. You will often find them attached at the hip of their favorite human as they tend to remain close to their main caretaker. Their loyalty to their owners is unmatched and can turn from healthy protectiveness to a more volatile overprotectiveness.
However, this innate guarding tendency can be a big asset with proper socialization and therefore does not need to be a cause for concern. With a stern hand from a young age and early socialization, there shouldn’t be problems.
A good way to dull your Rottweiler Shepherd’s intense desire to be your bodyguard is to immerse them in social situations. For instance, you could have new guests over at your house on a regular basis to get your pup used to a steady stream of new faces.
Shepweilers Around Children and Pets
Your German Rottweiler mix will make for excellent playmates for your kids. They get along with children of all ages but it’s important to teach your youngster safe play when it comes to your Shepweiler.
The same goes for your pooch. You should teach them not to jump up as they could easily hurt a small child unintentionally during playful excitement.
When it comes to other dogs, Shepweilers are amicable and easy to get along with – granted they’ve been appropriately socialized. However, your pet cats might have a slightly different experience.
Shepweilers often have the natural instinct to chase a feline. This urge can be prevented with a supervised introduction and consistent training. Peaceful coexistence between your cat and Shepweiler is certainly not impossible.
Just bear in mind that not all Rottie Shepherds are as friendly right off the bat with other pets or kids and might need some getting used to. At the end of the day it really comes down to socialization from a young age, firm training, and even the luck of the draw – mixed breeds can be hard to predict after all.
In order to be happy and fulfilled, these gorgeous Shepweilers are in need of a lot of love and stimulation – both mentally and physically.
It’s been shown that the best type of training for guard dogs revolves around reward-based training. Since these are slightly more aggressive dogs when it comes to natural temperament, it’s not a good idea to use punishment techniques or negative reinforcement. They will be most cooperative when positive reinforcement is implemented.
Sleeping arrangements should include a sizable crate for this hound to catch up on rest and relaxation after a full day of playing. These dogs love playtime as much as they love cuddle time.
They thrive when surrounded by a family dynamic and a spacious yard to spend time running about and exploring.
Exercise Requirements of the Shepweiler
The Shepweiler is a fun-loving, highly energetic, and playful pooch that thrives off plenty of activity. A German Shepherd Rottweiler mix will need to live an active lifestyle to release all their pent-up energy. If these pooches don’t run and play on a daily basis, they may become destructive and frustrated.
Exercise is also particularly important health-wise when it comes to this breed and its predisposition to problems like hip dysplasia. Maintaining healthy joints and a healthy weight is crucial for your pup when it comes to a long and healthy life.
Initially, it will be slightly uncertain what level of shedding you can expect from your Shepweiler. This is because the rate at which your pooch sheds will depend on which of their parent’s genes are most dominant.
If your pup inherits the German Shepherd’s wonderfully thick coat, you will need to spend a lot more time on maintenance. This will include brushing your dog’s hair a couple of times a week to ensure they maintain a healthy coat. These dogs are therefore not the best choice for allergy sufferers as they are not really good hypoallergenic hounds.
It’s possible that your Shepweiler may inherit a shorter coat, however. This would be influenced by their Rottweiler parents. If this is the case you’ll be in luck and will only need to brush them out about once a week. And your allergies may also be less triggered.
You will still need to groom them though as it gets rid of excess hair, dead skin cells and encourages healthy blood flow. Not to mention, it also increases intimacy in your relationship and is, therefore, a great bonding exercise to enjoy with your pooch baby.
Can My Shepweiler Live in My Apartment?
If you’re looking for a big, goofy, and very loveable companion dog then the Shepweiler will deliver in leaps and bounds. These hounds will be equally happy running about and playing fetch as they will be curling up on the couch with their favorite human for an evening of Netflix.
These dogs definitely need plenty of space to run, play and expel their boundless energy. It is obviously ideal therefore if you have a big house and a sizable garden. Not to mention, the more family members there are to share the playing-load, the better.
In saying that, it is completely up to your lifestyle and routines. If you feel that you have the time and energy to dedicate to exercise such as regular walks and playtime with these pooches, then they can live very happy lives indoors the rest of the time.
Their German Shepherd and Rottweiler parents have similar dietary needs so there aren’t many issues when it comes to finding the best food for your Shepweiler pooch.
It’s no secret that these hounds expel loads of energy on a daily basis. They are active, high-energy canines and should be nourished accordingly. The best feed for your Shepweiler canine is high-fiber dog food along with natural-ingredient dog food. They should also have a diet focused on good quality protein sources to feed their ever-active muscles.
However, these dogs are prone to weight gain and the health issues that follow as a result. The best way to control your pooch’s food intake is to implement set meal times rather than leaving food out for them to graze all day. It’s also important to limit snacks and treats as well as keep an eye on their portions.
Another way to avoid dog obesity is portion control. This is an essential part of your parenting duties, especially because these dogs are very active and will likely build up a big appetite each day. It may be handy to invest in a slow feeder bowl for your hound so that they can avoid gulping down their food during the excitement of mealtimes.
Coat and Colors
German Shepherd Rottweiler Mixes are well equipped to withstand both hotter and colder weather conditions thanks to their thicker coats. However, they should not be left outside in any extreme weather for too long – hot or cold.
In hotter summer months, you may need to apply dog sunscreen to areas with less fur coverage or sensitive spots like their nose and ears in order to avoid sun damage to their skin.
Care and Wellbeing
Things like active play sessions and regular short walks are of course all part of ensuring you have a happy and thriving Shepweiler. But as with all pooches, their wellbeing goes beyond this.
You should take your Shepweiler for regular vet checkups to make sure they are happy and healthy. It will also ensure that you detect any possible health concerns early enough to treat them accordingly. Your vet will be able to discuss the best routine to care for your beloved furbaby.
Be sure to check their ears for various pests and debris of sorts they could have picked up whilst exploring. You should also clip your dog’s nails regularly – at least once or twice a month to avoid injuries. If their nails get too long they run the risk of hooking on things and tearing which can be very painful for your pup.
They will also be scratch hazards that could cause unintentional wounds to family members or friends. As a good rule of thumb, if you hear clicking against the floors then your pooch’s nails are too long. If you don’t feel comfortable clipping your dog’s nails on your own, your groomer will be able to help you or even guide you for the next time.
Your vet will also instruct you on how to brush your dog’s teeth as this should be daily maintenance, or otherwise, as often as you can.
It is very normal for parent breeds to pass on their health issues to their mixed breed babies. We need to do our homework as doggo parents and know what to expect further down the line regarding their health and wellbeing. Shepweilers, for one, are unfortunately prone to encountering some hereditary health issues.
A mixed-breed pup is most likely going to be healthier than its purebred parents and this tends to be the case with most crossbreeds. However, when it comes to which specific health complications your mixed pup might inherit, it is a little trickier to predict and depends entirely on which parent hound they take after most in that area.
Spinal issues, for instance, could arise in your Shepweiler if they take after their German Shepherd parents. This is because the German Shepherd’s back slopes near the tail which puts pressure on their spines. Hip dysplasia is another unfortunate ailment that could potentially arise.
On the upside, these potential health complications can be caught at an early stage of your hound’s life. If caught early, they can prevent getting anything too serious if they lead a healthy, balanced, happy life, and get regular checkups. This part is up to you as the pooch parent.
The other useful tip is to ensure that your hound is not overweight. As much as you want to treat them with snacks or bigger portions to show your love, it is not doing them any favors. Keep your pup on a healthy weight to help reduce their risk of health issues.
In order to be best prepared for the possible health risks of your mixed breed pup, it can be handy knowing more about the ailments that their parent breeds are most susceptible to.
Rottweiler Health Issues
Rottweilers are prone to:
- Hip Dysplasia: This condition occurs in the pup’s formative years when the ball and socket joints don’t grow at equal rates. As a result, they don’t fit together properly.
- Elbow Dysplasia: Elbow Dysplasia is characterized by lameness in the forelimb and results in limping. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle for your Rottie from a young age to try to avoid or lessen such disabilities later on.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This ailment affects the photoreceptor cells of the dog which causes them to deteriorate over time. It eventually leads to blindness.
- Skin allergies: They are prone to a skin allergy called Atopy from irritants such as pollen and dust. They develop symptoms between ages 1 and 3 years and will get progressively worse thereafter. Fortunately, there are topical allergy treatments available.
- Heart Issues: Rottweilers can, unfortunately, suffer congenital heart defects wherein a narrowing below the aortic valve causes the heart to overwork itself. This causes an irregular heartbeat and can be fatal.
German Shepherd Health Issues
German Shepherds are prone to:
- Von Willebrand’s disease: An inherited bleeding disorder, von Willebrand’s disease comes from a shortage in the von Willebrand factor protein (vWF).
- Hypothyroidism: Causing regular bodily functions to slow down, Hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disorder in dogs and is characterized by an underactive thyroid. Red flags to look out for include the slowing down of bodily functions, weight gain, and general lethargic behavior.
- Cataracts: Our dear German Shepherd pooches are also prone to developing Cataracts in their old age. This involves compromised, blurry vision from cloudiness that forms in the eye and compromises their sight.
- Hemophilia: This abnormal formation of blood clots comes as a result of a deficiency of Factor VIII. This gene mutation results in Hemophilia.
These are the common health issues to look out for in the parent breeds and they can all be present in your German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix dog. It’s therefore very important to remain vigilant and ensure that your pup goes for regular vet checkups.
Since both of your Shepweiler’s parent breeds are prone to hip dysplasia, for example, a healthy weight can go a long way towards reducing the pressure on your pooch’s joints. In order to ensure your canine doesn’t become overweight, a healthy diet and regular exercise regime are advised.
If you have checked in with the vet whether your Shepweiler pup is suffering from any joint issues, and you have socialized them appropriately, then taking them along on runs is a great way for you both to stay healthy and fit. They make for excellent running companions and will slot right in with your active lifestyle. Be it hiking, jogging, or working, they will happily be by your side for it all.
How Much is a Shepweiler Puppy?
This mix breed has no small price tag but it’s not as pricey as some of the other famous crossbreed pooches. However, it’s essential to get these hounds from a reputable breeder to make sure that there haven’t been any ill-breeding practices involved. This way you will also be able to find out about any health concerns present in the parent breeds.
The price of a German Shepherd Rottweiler mix puppy is anywhere between $200 and $1,500. Good breeders will generally tend to charge more but this is usually a good sign and well worth the money. Shepweilers that go for more have usually undergone health screenings and you will therefore be well prepared for any issues to look out for.
You should always be wary of very low prices as it’s no cheap undertaking breeding healthy puppies. So be sure to ask around for recommendations when it comes to finding reputable breeders.
Adopting a Shepwiler
Adoption is still a great way to give a loveable doggo a caring home, but you may not be willing to take the unknown health concerns that come with adoption. Many adoption agencies may also not have Shepweiler dogs, in which case you should either look around longer or go directly to a breeder.
However, if you don’t manage to find a reputable breeder, then rescuing a Shepweiler pup is an excellent route to go. Be sure to search your local shelters and get in touch with adoption agencies.
These are excellent dogs that are loyal, hard-working, and have so much love to give. They certainly do deserve another chance at finding a happy home.
Your adopted Shepweiler should have no problem adapting to their new environment and family dynamics. They are highly intelligent and eager to please which means they will undoubtedly be fast learners. Be sure to retrain these doggos with plenty of positive reinforcement. With a firm hand and plenty of love, they will be settled in and thriving in no time.
Pros of Owning a Shepweiler
If you have the time, resources, and capacity to properly train these pooches then they can be very rewarding companion hounds to have in your life. They are highly intelligent, eager to please, and easy to train. This makes agility training, tricks, and work tasks a pleasure for you as the owner.
They are also loyal, obedient and make for wonderful family pets. Offering the perfect combination of protection and affection, these man’s best friends are wonderful life companions that you can build a real rapport with.
Cons of Owning a Shepweiler
If you live a generally busy life or spend little time at home, it may be unwise bringing a Shepweiler into your home. These pooches are definitely higher maintenance in the sense that they need plenty of exercise and stimulation both physically and mentally.
They also require plenty of space to grow and play. Having a big garden is not mandatory, but is certainly advisable. This means that smaller homes or gardens are not best for these canines.
They can also potentially need a lot of grooming and maintenance so you would need time and patience to properly care for these hounds. Furthermore, they are lovable, good-natured dogs with few cons. Unless you fear obedience, loyalty, and unconditional love.
Final Thoughts on the Shepweiler
A blend of their parent breeds, Shepweilers are ideal companions and also excel at guard work and protection services. They’re intelligent, energetic, kid-friendly goofballs who are as keen to work as they are to cuddle.
If you are sure to keep their weight and their physical needs in check, you will certainly have a friendly, balanced, healthy family member in your Shepweiler.
When you combine the self-assured, fearless nature of the Rottweiler with the obedient, curious temperament of the German Shepherd, it leaves little to be desired in a pooch. Mix in their instinctive need to both dote on and protect their human at all costs, and you will be pretty well taken care of.
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